Confessions of a horse-loving mom: I once climbed on a horse at 5 months pregnant and rode…for a little while. It made me so nauseous I climbed back down and did not try it again for a many months. Even now years later, when I hear the story of Mary on her donkey, I have to swallow hard!
Pregnant and glowing, looking forward to the big day, how would Mary have taken the news that some government yahoo had decided it was time to do a headcount, and she and Joseph would have to travel to Joseph’s hometown and check in?
Do you think she rolled her eyes?
My guess is Mary had something a little bigger on her mind. Maybe, even as they were packing up for the trip, she could feel the baby kicking. Things were gonna be very different very soon.
Mary, full of baby, full of promise and of hope, rode with her eyes on a different horizon. Into a world that revolved around laws and labels would come one who loved the least and searched for the lost. The rhythm of the hoofbeat carried the hopeful to the heartbeat of God who came to us.
The story goes that “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” (Luke 2:1-7)
A weary traveler, who represented nothing more than a number, became the mother of a miracle in a back-alley barn because there was no place else to go. What a crazy mix of earthy reality and star-filled wonder. Like the straw in a manger, the humble and the holy intertwined.
I’m guessing it was worth the ride.